• Trenton L. Bice

Sound-a-like Blog Week 3: Drums Session

During our first recording session of our sound-a-like project of The Roots - The Seed (2.0) we tracked drums with session drummer Ryan. My primary role for this first session was Pro-Tools producer, but due to the timing of Ryan coming in during the afternoon our group each shared roles in setting up the miking and testing inputs so we’d all be ready to go once Ryan came in with his kit.

The team working together in miking up Ryan's 7 piece Ludwig drumkit

This was an effective exercise and we had the protools session already set up prior to our studio time, so I just had to assign I/Os, finalise grouping, then label each track with its corresponding microphone, mic technique and assigned pre-amp. As still a very new user to Pro-Tools this was my first time tracking a full drumkit and therefore was a great learning experience. Having been an admirer of notable Pro Tools users Kanye West, Timbaland and Rick Rubin, Rubin’s style in particular was applicable as we are producing a hip-hop rock track. Rubin has had great success in producing this style, and I could relate to some of the drum tracking he’d done on tracks such “Fight for your right” by the Beastie Boys, “99 Problems” by Jay-Z and “Aerials” by System of a Down.

My role during the recording time consisted of using the talk back with our artist, creating new playlists, recording with quickpunch and checking phasing at the start of the session, particularly on the snare top & bottom and kickdrum in & out.

In my role as Pro-Tools engineer, this was my view from behind the desk for most of our drum tracking session

Overall, this was a great learning experience and working as a team is a great way for us to learn from one another as well dealing with an experienced artist. I feel much more familiar and comfortable with the pre-amps used, particularly the effects of the UA1176 and 6176.

I definitely approved the effectiveness of my communication through the talk-back with the artist as the session went on, as well being more meticulous with my session management and saving of the session, as was important in my role as Pro-tools engineer.

The patch bay used during our first drums session

I’m really looking forward to experiencing different roles in

future sessions as we have a confident team that complement and learn from each other really well.

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